We are home with Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Meanwhile we have jumped in again for one last very special girl. If you would like to help with that, you can make a non-tax-deductible donation HERE that we can access immediately. You can also make a tax-deductible donation HERE that we can use once we receive travel dates. Or by donating HERE you can help provide her and other children at her orphanage the care and nutrition they desperately need. See all of our current fundraisers HERE. We are thankful for any support you can offer!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Barton is Amazing.

I was able to meet Barton today. He is amazing. He is incredible.

My husband and I arrived in the taxi and all the boys on the front porch started yelling, "Hello!" since they have picked that up from him. We walked across the front of the building and shook everyone's hands and said hello to them. Then one of the boys grabbed my husband's hand and started walking with him. It was Barton, but he is so small that I didn't realize it at first! He was a little nervous around me at first because I am a new strange person, but he started to warm up after a little while.

We had a snack and played with toys, then went out to the swings on the playground. It was hot and he kept telling us it was sunny with a smile on his face. A few of the other boys walked over to ask us questions. Some of them I understood and some of them I didn't, but they were very nice and polite boys. We walked around and watched some of the young adults playing games before he had to go in for lunch.

We came back for our second visit of the day and he was much more comfortable around me. We played more and watched a little bit of a movie before he had to go for dinner. Afterward we were able to explain to one of the teachers that we would be coming back for him as soon as we could but we need to wait for court, and a little bit of what his life will be like here. The staff there seems very nice and like they really care about the boys. Since we didn't know where he had been transferred to, that was one of the things that we worried about before we got here. I am so glad that the people caring for him have spoken so kindly about him.

I am so excited to be able to get him home. I think that his vision and his time in orphanages are his biggest obstacles. We can't believe he has waited so many years for a family. He is 16! He looks younger, but his age made him too old for most families to adopt. We did not decide to adopt him until his birthday had already passed. But he is so incredible. He has already started to blossom in so many ways. I wish he had the chance to have a family when he was still a little child, but I am so happy that he will be a member of our family.

Hopefully my next update will be after our court date for the other boys!

People have asked where we stand on funding at the moment. As of right now, our expenses after some very generous donations will be at least $1850 more. We won't have an exact amount for if it will be more and how much more until we have the other boys home. We are very thankful for all of the donations we have received and for everyone who has supported us! We will be continuing our updates so that all of you who have played such a big part in this story will see how it continues. Thank you all!

Friday, May 23, 2014

More Fun Updates Coming Soon!

I am heading over to join my husband in-country! We have court for three of the boys in a few days and I will have a chance to spend time with Barton before that. I am so excited to be able to bring them home, hopefully within the next couple weeks. I can't wait to share more with you guys after court!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Update on Salome!

Have you heard yet that Salome's family has gone public? I absolutely love them! Check it out!

They are not yet fully funded for all of their children, but I would love it if they were soon! If you are interested in any of our remaining Superman or Outline shirts, you can contact me for available sizes and donate $20 to their account to receive one! My email address is if you are interested.

Court Dates Scheduled

We have court dates scheduled for both regions! Theo, Orion and Evan will have court in about a week and a half. There was a paperwork delay so that will be slightly later than our original date, but it is still coming very soon! We will be able to start on paperwork right away after that and get the three boys home and start settling in.

Unfortunately, our judge for Barton's region is on vacation until July. She has been very positive about the adoption, which is wonderful when this is the first international adoption in the area. The timing was just rotten. So here is what that means.  We will get the other three boys home and then a month later my husband will have to go back for Barton. They typically have a 2-3 week wait to get started on paperwork after court, then that will be completed and those two will fly back.

We will be able to tell Barton that my husband is coming back, but it is hard that he will have to wait that much longer. He has waited for so many years already. Hopefully we will all be home together soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Update on Things In-Country

It has been a while since the last update. There is so much to share but a lot of it needs to wait until after court. The boys are all amazing. They are amazing, incredible kids. They are all so different and so special. We can not understand how all of them have waited so long, how families did not scoop them up and bring them home as babies, toddlers, preschoolers, even as older children. We are so awed that we have the chance to have these boys in our family, as sons.

I posted about my husband's first meeting with Barton. Since then he has continued to knock our socks off. We were fully prepared for him to be nonverbal, withdrawn, highly autistic. He is doing things we didn't know if we would ever see, and he isn't even home yet. He takes turns playing with other kids. He makes jokes that other kids laugh at! What?! Yep, he missed the ball when he was playing soccer with my husband and the other kids, and he said something that had everyone cracking up. He can follow a storyline in a comic across and down the page, then on to the next page. We don't know if he can read, but he can clearly follow the pictures.

And all of this that he is doing, he is doing with severely impaired vision. At his age we don't know if straightening his eyes will be able to improve his vision, but we are going to do everything we can to help. His vision is better than we initially expected, but he needs to hold small things within a couple inches of his face to see them well. I don't want to give the impression that he isn't very delayed. He is, but he is a 16 year old who has spent most of his life with no stimulation. That is the framework we expected going into this. The place he has been transferred to is worlds better than where he was before, and I think that is part of why we are already seeing so many things we weren't sure we would ever see him do.

Barton likes playing with modeling clay.

We are hoping to hear about a court date for him within the next week. This is the first international adoption for his court, so they are double-checking at each step to make sure they are following the law the way they are supposed to. Hopefully we will know more soon for his date! We do have a tentative court date for the other boys in a little more than a week! Yay!

Next, Orion. He is so full of joy and energy, and occasionally mischief. When he first met my husband he was hugging him and saying he always knew he would have a papa. When he found out that Theo was being adopted too he ran over and hugged him. He wants to know if he will get tall like his papa when he gets to America. I bet he has a growth spurt ahead of him, because he is only in 10/12 clothing now. He likes to play soccer too, although he would rather score goals himself than pass the ball!

He loves looking at all the pictures of his new home and new family members. I have talked to him on the phone and he tells me he loves me. He doesn't understand the time difference so there have been a few times he didn't believe it when my husband said he couldn't call because mama was asleep. Then sometimes he doesn't want to give his papa the phone back! He loves the phone, both to talk on and to play with the touchscreen.

Orion is going to need consistent boundaries the most out of all the kids. He is very curious and definitely "all boy." We love it. It is going to take him so far, but first we will need to channel it! You know how it's easier for kids to follow directions after they have burned off their energy? We have lots of space here for him to run around and tire himself out, but we aren't sure if this boy ever gets tired!

Theo and Orion are looking at pictures together.

Now Theo! Most of the time my husband visits Theo and Orion together, unless they are doing different things when he arrives. Theo is so happy to have a papa! They have been going on lots of long walks together, which he really likes. My husband got in trouble one of the first days because he forgot to put a coat on Theo. We have a different cultural view here of what is appropriate weather to stop wearing coats! Theo even joined in playing soccer one day, pushing the ball with his hands to my husband and Orion. I don't think he usually spends as much time outside as the other boys, so he will really like getting to be outside so much when he gets here.

He also loves to sit with my husband and say papa, papa to him while he pats his cheek. He is very sweet and cuddly. That is what he will spend the longest time doing if he can. He doesn't have a long attention span for toys or games yet, but he will sit with his papa and watch tv or the other kids playing for a very long time! My husband said he is very heavy, but he doesn't mind at all. Theo has been asking when mama is coming, since I will only be there for the trip home. I wish it was now!

He is really good at getting out of his bed and up into his wheelchair on his own. There are so many little things we can build on to make it easier for him to do things for himself. We are also going to work a lot on learning to play! Yep, mean mama here is going to make him play. Seriously though, Montessori is perfect for my boy. I've said before that we love them all just the way we are. We do, because they are perfect just the way they are. Our whole family is going to be doing lots of hard work together though, and have lots of fun doing it!

And lastly, Evan. Sweet, sweet Evan. There is so much I could say. His very first visit he was scared and uncomfortable. If that was how things were always going to be, we still would have been bringing him home. My husband said, "I would rather he cry every day in my arms than in a crib where no one hears or cares." Now he already recognizes my husband and his voice, and is so excited to see him. He will have the biggest adjustment out of all the boys. There will be a lot to it that is hard, but it will be so worth it. There are already so many changes since his first visit.

Evan is holding his papa's hand.

He is doing amazing things. He is vocalizing. These are intentional sounds. He is copying things my husband does. He will rub his head or his cheek after my husband does. He rolled and crawled over to my husband when they were in the playroom. My jaw is on the floor. My heart is so full it feels like it could burst.  This amazing boy is so full of laughter and joy, and starved for attention. He is not hopeless, as my husband was told. There is nothing there but hope. He is full of it.


Any child from Orphanage 50. Seriously. Every one of these kids is special to me. So many of them have such small grants. These are older kids who need every opportunity to be seen. They need families.
Here are a few of my favorites:

Kendall is gorgeous and has so much potential. She is learning to stand independently!
O girl (1)

Denzel needs a family very badly. He is very alert, and he laughs at the things the other children in his room are doing!

Miriam is a sweet little ball of energy! She is just so much fun. She needs a family with lots of brothers and sisters to keep her busy!
Vy (2)

Phoenix has the sweetest smile and laugh! He is such a handsome little boy and so tiny.
Y (2)

Vance loves to give hugs and he has just recently moved into the group home. This is going to give a family a huge head start on him adjusting to a family! He is such a sweet boy who needs a mama and papa.

Gideon loves to play and dance and sing! He is a great kid and I can't believe he is still waiting!